tv [untitled] January 16, 2012 10:31am-11:01am EST
samik state carries out its threats. and lead to reports it has published an article outlining his plans to battle corruption strengthen civil society and tackle poverty is part of his campaign to return as president but the election now less than two months away. but next peter the ballot his cross talk gas discuss what the cuts to the world's biggest military budget will bring or whether they'll happen at all. well. it's technology innovations all the lives developments around russia we've got the future covered.
below him welcome to cross talk and people about recasting america's global military strategy or just more of the same brock obama's new vision for the pentagon is aimed at saving money while making the u.s. military more lean and mean critics charge this new mission is no different from the one obama inherited from the bush era the u.s. will remain the world's policeman. and. to cross-talk washington's new military strategy i'm joined by matthew rothschild in madison he is the editor of the progressive magazine in los angeles we have christian whiten he is a principal with d.c. international advisory and a former state department senior adviser and in london we crossed to frank jackson he is vice president of uniting for peace all right gentlemen crosstalk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want but first let's see what mr
obama has in mind for the pentagon. in light of budgetary mandates passed by congress last year requiring reduction in overall defense spending president barack obama has announced a new strategic initiative for the american military in contrast to his predecessors the president's plans no longer call for the u.s. to be able to fight two conventional wars simultaneously in different parts of the world and his vision for a smaller more nimble military america will be able to respond to asymmetrical threats like terrorism as well as the more conventional threats such as china's growing navy obama insisted that the cuts would not come at the expense of america's security we will stay vigilant especially in the middle east. as we look beyond the wars in iraq and afghanistan and the end of long term nation building with a large military footprint will be able to ensure our security with smaller conventional ground forces the white house and the pentagon are committed to increasing its presence in the asia pacific region while maintaining cost savings
by getting rid of expensive cold war era systems though according to reports there are no plans to mothball any of the eleven nuclear powered carriers that the u.s. navy has obama's plans were assailed by many republicans including several vying for the opportunity to run against him in november the president's proposals to dramatically reduce our defense spending in my view weakens our military and puts it at greater risk with obama winding up his first and possibly only term in the white house the future of the department of defense may be left up to his successors in the from the or another republican candidate takes over the white house next january it seems unlikely that obama's policy would stay in place with the exception of congressman ron paul all the major g.o.p. candidates have shown support for military appropriations despite their general opposition to government spending charney for cross-town.
all right christian if i go to you first to you in los angeles what do you make of mr obama's new strategy this is everyone is calling it a new strategy there's a lot of critics of it but what do you make of it is it really cost cutting while making the military more lean and mean. certainly more lean more mean i'd say there really is no new strategy here we still have a president who is comfortable with american decline comfortable with america's withdraw from the world you know it's important to put this in perspective these are big cuts on top of half a trillion over a decade that congress is already forecasting with the so-called budget deal seaquest ration and this is another half trillion on top of that so the portion of our federal budget we spend on defense right now is already less than a fifth of our federal budget even though defending america is supposed to be the first reason for having a federal government it's coming down from there you know it's not just belligerence that is provocative sometimes weakness is provocative and we're going frankly in that direction i'm afraid ok matthew what do you make of that i mean a lot of people say the military's. grew so much under bush and continues to grow
under obama and if you factor in inflation and whatnot it's going to be more or less the same a huge military. and i couldn't disagree with christian more i mean look at the united states military is greater than all the other militaries combined in the rest of the world practically and a little bit of a cut here and there isn't going to hurt us ability to the center sells i read the document to me the document is as belligerent as ever and while the united states is going to fight two ground wars at the same time it is prepared to fight one ground war and threaten obliteration of any other enemy that might raise its head it's very ironic that obama had made a big pitch for getting rid of nuclear weapons in a famous speech in prague and now he's saber rattling those weapons more than ever . to you frank one of the criticisms of the new strategy is that the united states because it's more reliant on nuclear weapons than ever before is that the right path the united states should be taking i mean as other countries arm themselves
and we still have the issue with iran on the table i mean iran will say well i mean if the americans want to rattle those kind of weapons why shouldn't we have them as well i mean it has a knock on effect. well no for a start i have been totally opposed to all nuclear weapons everywhere since they were unleashed on the world in one hundred forty five and so therefore i do not want the the us to continue to have nuclear weapons i do not want iran to have nuclear weapons i don't know on my own country to have nuclear weapons but i start from a very simple proposition which no doubt i'll be accused of being naive i think it is really is time that the. human race learn to settle its differences without periodic lee slaughtering one another by tens hundreds thousands and with nuclear weapons potentially millions now as i say i'll be
accused of being naive but in fact there is. evidence that. not caused by quote human nature are so often the sand but it is actually the actual result of political decisions by particular leaders in particular circumstances and not by the ordinary people of the of the world who actually fight the wars and so therefore i would want. president obama and the united states to go much further reference to the us as the world policeman but you do not police the world by bombing and killing people you. set up quite different. structures to avoid the necessity for you the chinese who. want to do it like jumping ahead. you know
a great statesman once said that only the dead have seen the end of the war or the end of war and it wasn't brock obama has said that or george w. bush that was plato two thousand years ago he was right then he's right now you know president obama can go around the world saying the tide of war is receding but kim jong un korea didn't get that message the mullahs who run iran didn't get that message the chinese government unelected unaccountable didn't get that government all of those governments plus pakistan are expanding their nuclear arsenal so for president obama to watch i mean it's just it's just totally naive and it doesn't do anything to help american security it doesn't help those around the world who want a civilized order and want to live their lives in peace it just is a big green light to unaccountable unelected governments that are acting in blue different ways and only going to do more so. their economy has declined to ok all right matthew and i to ask you i think it is just plain that the number. of those countries mentioned are in any way threatening the security of the united states ok
good point matthew wanted problems i have and i have nobody for. repressive government or whatever but they are not posing any threat to the status of the united states ok matthew what do you how do you reply that the only reason it was going away from sharon is going to be the same to me i know you're all taking crosstalk to heart here but let's go to madison ok matthew go ahead. look at the united states the soviet union the whole world was lucky to survive the first cold war what concerns me in addition about obama's latest doctrine is the start of a new cold war a new cold war against china the document says that the united states needs to reorient itself toward asia in the pacific and cites china's economy and china's military is a looming threat to the united states what this is going to do is launch a nuclear arms race between the united states and china and already the chinese have responded to the provocation by saying this is war mongering and do we really
want to get into another nuclear arms race after having just been lucky to survive the first one christian if i can go to you some critics of obama's new plan say that what we have right now is just a reordering of the military to the to asia though a basis will remain in europe for some reason twenty years after the end of the cold war but that may be a different question but nonetheless it's really at how ad hoc is and this is not a new plan this is just rearranging the pieces on the board. it is it is barely even that you know again there's this duplicity and what president obama says so he says we're reorienting toward the pacific which we ought to do not because we want to start a new war cold war but because the chinese have been acting incredibly provocatively they have undergone a naval buildup that is almost unprecedented sense the japanese build up before world war two but anyway for obama to say that but then in the same breath to say we're going to delay the f. thirty five this is a new fighter program. or procurement to replace old ones also to do this at
a time when we're cutting procurement to the navy so we can even maintain the current size of the u.s. navy which incidentally is one half less than one half of what it was at the end of the cold war when ronald reagan left office so the chinese look at this and they are not fooled they do and they do not have the same they don't fall under the spell of mr obama's comforting words that other people may what do you think about that frank i mean you you have a rising power in asia and everyone wants it to be peaceful and we all have it remember the rise of germany at the beginning of the twentieth century it wasn't so easy one of the one of the primary reason why there was the first world war i mean is the united states is it is it a sufficiently chinese to avoid an arms race. well first of all i don't think there is any comparison between the situation in china situation in germany in the nine hundred thirty s. so following that line is not very fruitful but while i.
deplore the fact china is building more arms and. i would prefer they also reduced their. military build up they have a very there are various tensions in the area tension over taiwan there are conflicts with your power and there are potential conflicts with india and so on but none of those actually threaten those religious or any other usually holidays. ok question you want to go in there and read real quick before we go to the break sir you have just me just need to look at this look at the doctrine that the chinese people's army has they want to push out to their second island chain which incidentally puts within their so-called sphere of influence if you will japan. which i think you're seeing right here gentlemen we're going to go to was short
break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on the u.s. military state party. and. this is. all and sitting on the edge of. its present. reality it's nothingness. but if you enter this time. the mystery of supernatural will reach. shaman of siberia. wealthy british scientists on some
ok matthew if i go to you in madison a lot of people would claim that it's just the military industrial complex it's complex corporations that make an enormous amount of money off of america's wars abroad and military presence abroad this is what it's about to i mean they're going to be making buckets of money on a defense spending again as i pointed out if you do the numbers over ten years and inflation and all of this it's not a whole lot different from the the the bush era. you can't discount the power of the military industrial complex that president eisenhower warned about six decades ago and a lot of times the pentagon just serves as the advance team for u.s. corporations and if you read this current doctrine it's going to still do that obama talks about the pentagon making sure free trade lanes are open around the world while those free trade lanes help us corporations who are plowing those lanes and sending their goods through those lanes so we need to recognize really what the role the pentagon is here it is to service by and large the interests of u.s.
corporations in question would you like to reply that it's more about and forcing free trade in trade that is to the advantage of the united states that's what the u.s. military's primary mission is not securing the safety of the united states but securing the profits of companies. well i disagree with that also most of the cuts aren't coming to big ticket items they are delaying as i mentioned the f. thirty five fighter but most of the cuts will be stealthy or because it's just politically more acceptable to cut operations in management so that instead of big cancellations you'll find that various units are unable to train as much to practice as much to go out and deployed to be forward deployed where adversaries like the chinese like the iranians can notice them so you'll have a hollow military that isn't well prepared and that's not just a problem for the u.s. it's a problem again for everyone around the world because certainly not just us here in the u.s. who are affected by chinese conduct by the iranians by islamize who are on the march all the way across the middle east who seem to be doing very well places like
egypt in iraq and elsewhere so all of these problems call out for a strong force in the us military is not primarily the policeman of the world but we do things like guaranteed freedom of navigation through the seas through the air and if you if you take a stick to the u.s. navy to the air force to our other ground to our other armed forces then that makes life harder for everyone who wants a civilized order frank you know an argument is made that the u.s. military presence have brought it with globally. actually creates the conditions for blowback of terrorism i mean for example no one expected the iraq fiasco to last so long no one expected the afghan fiasco to last so long and the blow by blow back effect because of that presence there when it just be better just to really withdraw from these areas here i mean it actually is a net negative for the united states and is security. well yes i think that is probably true. in my view both afghanistan and iraq was
totally illegal under international law and they have actually created far more problems than they have solved if they have solved any problems at all going back to no nine eleven. that was heinous crime not an act of war and the united states response to it was totally disproportionate . in fact the point i just made about being. a crime the former head of the u.k. m i five security service recognized that in recent lecture. eliza manning and buller and. there were a number of other options a military attack on afghanistan which could have been pursued as i and of the said at the time. the consequences that followed from from what
are the present state including the rise of visual mist in various places so i'm afraid that i do think that the. united states has actually harmed its own security by its activities in the last ten years matthew if i go back to you in madison one of the interesting things is if you want to jump in there but i'd like to talk about the militarization of the american american economy because i had first. well i just want to pick up on what frank said because in this new document barack obama released he makes reference to the iraq and afghanistan wars and says they were necessary to provide stable governments and defend their strategic interests but they weren't ways to defend our strategic interest they weren't sold to the american people or the international community to defend our strategic interests what do you think about that christian i mean i mean one of the things they said in this document is that the united states won't get involved in these
long wars and big footprint as they said but you know there was never expected for a afghanistan that was never expected for iraq i mean what happens you know you know down the line we have some other tragic events like nine eleven i mean then you're going to have to disagree water things again i mean is this just playing politics right now obama wants to cut the budget but he doesn't want to be at the same time to be here to be weak i mean he wants to have both worlds at the same time that's exactly right no that's exactly right and no one wants to get another prolonged counter-insurgency or invade another country but if it does become necessary if something dire happens i mean we couldn't have predicted what i believe was necessary to protect american security to protect the civilized order not just for the u.s. but for other countries around the world before nine eleven but it happened and we can't look into the future so what do you do you have a large military or a suitable military for contingencies that can't be forseen although certainly we should have one for contingencies that can be first seen like a nuclear iran like
a nuclear north korea like a china that's on the march ok matthew if i go to you one of the dilemma is the united states has more than most countries when or maybe any other country in the world is that so many jobs are attached to the military industrial complex and that's where the you get really hit hard i mean even if you want to if you want to cut defense spending you know because you think it's a principally a good idea then you start cutting jobs and those people vote i mean it's really damned if you do damned if you don't. yes in the pentagon's been very prudent and shrewd in the way it's handed out contracts so it's handed out a lot of contracts in every state and many many counties within every state in the union so it has a base of domestic support for this military keynesianism but that's not the most efficient way to stimulate an economy nor is it a justification to keep going with this reckless military doctrine that we have what do you think about that christian i mean it see you need the military not because of safety but because they create to save jobs you create jobs in the
united states. is that a good thing but no i don't think that should be the i don't think that should be the primary or even a secondary purpose of the military but i think that's overstated you know the military is a lot different in its nature and a lot different in its size than it was during the cold war here in california there used to be a huge defense industry there's still a bit of one but it's a lot less significant a lot less politically significant to and i think you see that across the u.s. we've been through several rounds of what's called brac base realignment where a number of bases were shut down and you just have a lot smaller military footprint so of course you have the beltway bandits have their lobbyists they want big programs they are increasingly smart about spreading around programs through a number of congressional districts but i don't think that's why the cuts are happening the way they are again you have president obama that even though we're spending less than a fifth of our budget on defense he wants to spend more and more and more on redistributing wealth making america more like old europe western europe and less
like the sort of you know more capitalist leaning country that we've been in the past thank you back to you matthew i mean i only wish that were the case will go ahead because it looks like you know they're they're still willing to feed the military machine but they won't feed the poor if i can use when you create a binary right there i mean they want to cut a lot of domestic. programs as well actually which cuts jobs too i mean it's kind of still a damned if you do damned if you don't situation but again they would prefer to keep the military but not fund social programs in a time of really great austerity you know i mean we you know we really have not had a peace dividend here in the united states since the fall the cold war i mean the pentagon remains enormously. huge as far as the amount of money we spend you know christian keeps talking about you know percentage of the budget the budget keeps going up though as the budget goes up to three trillion the pentagon's share of that budget goes up as well and so we're spending enormous amounts here that could you know go to help the fifty million. people in the united states who
don't have health care we could go to help you know one out of two americans is at or very near the poverty line and we've got a real social problem here and i only wish that barack obama were the socialist the democratic socialist that he is accused of being. for a go if you want to jump to the right. go ahead go ahead christian the peace dividend the dividend of peace is peace and that's what you get so it's to say that you should cut the military whenever you get to a point where it's not quite as urgently needed in the sense we're not in a war i think that's disingenuous also you know president obama has normalized trillion dollar deficits in the bush administration we were a bit surprised when the budget permanently injured over two trillion dollars it's now three and a half consistently trillion dollars you say that president obama's cutting all these domestic programs to feed the military just not so i don't i can't think of a single domestic program he's caught in if you don't like my statistics that we're
only spending a fifth of the federal budget on the pentagon look at it as a percentage of our economy it's going down back to about three and a half percent during the cold war during most of our history it was in excess of five percent of our total g.d.p. our economy the only to the last time it was as low as where it's going is during the clinton era during the one nine hundred ninety s. which was a green light for nine eleven for terrorists for north korea for on for adversaries around the world it's just you know it's not just belligerence that's provocative weakness is provocative and president obama is being provocative lee week and again it's going to it's not just affecting the us little fat people little fat countries governments everywhere ok frank we're defense spending create star wars. well first of all my challenge that word defense in itself in two thousand and ten. the world as a whole spent one point six trillion dollars on the military.
every penny every cent every year of that was supposedly for defense no it will be a very strange football match in which there were only two defenses so in actual fact a great deal of that including a great deal of the american expenditure and sadly to say my own country's is that if you fall off it's not for defense so i'm afraid frank i'm going to have enjoyed being here this is been a great discussion thank you i want to thank all my guests today in my madison los angeles and in london and thanks to our viewers for watching us here are you seeing next time and remember i stopped. it q q .
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